Members of Greater Boston’s jazz community gather at Wally’s for a repeat of the first-ever group portrait 10 years earlier

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On September 7, 2019, JazzBoston assembled jazz musicians, music lovers, presenters, promoters, advocates, and chroniclers from all over Greater Boston’s jazz community at the historic Wally’s Jazz Café for the second edition of the first-ever group portrait, created in 2009. As before, the goal was to capture and celebrate the energy and diversity of Boston’s lively, year-round jazz scene.
“Wally’s is the only place this portrait could be made,” says JazzBoston President Pauline Bilsky. “The club has been a beacon of hospitality and inclusion in Boston since it was founded by Joseph Walcott 72 years ago.”
Over the precding 10 years, the first portrait became an integral part of JazzBoston’s identity. “One look at the 2009 portrait tells you why JazzBoston believes a thriving, widely recognized jazz scene is a key to making Boston a better city for everyone who lives and visits here,” Pauline explains. “This is what Boston looks like.”
The Museum of African American History chose the 2019portrait to be the centerpiece of the introductory panel for their dual photo exhibit of Jazz Greats from the Bank of America’s collection and Boston’s Jazz Scene from various local sources. The MAAH exhibit continues through early 2020 at 46 Joy Street, Beacon Hill, Boston.
Among the group:
Elynor Walcott, Wally’s matriarch (holding a picture of her father, Joseph “Wally” Walcott)
Kim Janey and children, Boston City Councilor, District 7, jazz advocate
Ilya Blazh, drums
Bob Blumenthal, jazz journalist and author (“An Introduction to the History and Legends Behind America’s Music”)
Bobby “Boushe” Etienne, bass
Allan Chase, saxophone
Paul Fuller (son of trombonist Curtis Fuller, vocals
Laszlo Gardony, piano
Bruce Gertz bass
Gregory Groover, saxophone
Kevin Harris, piano
Niko Mishchenko, piano
Jason Palmer, trumpet
José Della Penna, piano
Bruce Raberg, bass
Dick Vacca, author (“The Boston Jazz Chronicles”)
Don West, photojournalist, author (“Portraits of Purpose: A Tribute to Leadership”)
Patrice Williamson, vocals
Fred Woodard, guitar, Founder, Dudley Jazz Festival
Pauline Bilsky, President, JazzBoston
Photo: © Jean Hangarter 2019